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The Cyclist


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Editorial Reviews

In need of money to pay his wife's medical expenses, Afghan refugee Nassim succumbs to the pleas of a slick con artist with a fantastic plan to stage a bicycle marathon with only one contestant: Nassim himself. Billing himself as the Afghani Superman, the swindler wagers that Nassim can ride his bicycle, day and night, for an entire week. The normally mild-mannered townsfolk soon turn vicious on the sidelines as they place wagers on Nassim's fate, trying to turn his suffering into their profit. One of Iran's greatest filmmakers, director Mohsen Makhmalbaf displays a fantastic visual flair while confronting a variety of serious social issues. Here he tackles the issues of poverty and the ways that people exploit one another in an arresting and visually sophisticated work.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Firouz Kiani, Mohammad Reza Maleki
  • Directors: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00063MCPM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,399 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Gomez Pardo HALL OF FAME on November 29, 2004
Format: DVD
A refuge from Afghan needs money to pay his wife medical expenses . He was in his youth a famous cyclist and through an unusual deal with a nasty mercenary , he accepts to receive the money with one condition . He will be the main attraction of a cheap, depressive and shameful spectacle. Nassim our man in disgrace will have to round in circle a small area with his bicycle on the outskirts of town day and night , for a week , without any minute of rest .

Along the film the sinister and unscrupulous businessman you will watch a filthy microcosmos composed by all kind of gamblers, bookies , food vendors and vileness people will come to see the great and original challenge .

This was one the twenty most important movies of the eighties . Winner of the Best Film at the Rimini Cinema Film Festival Farsi .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cosmoetica on August 25, 2010
Format: DVD
Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's 1987 film The Cyclist (Bicycleran) is one of those odd little films (a mere 78 minutes in length) that, technically, is not that impressive, but whose narrative makes it worth watching. Makhmalbaf wrote and directed the film, and also may have edited it. Its technical merits are few, save for the spare screenplay. There are, however, no greatly structured scenes, no effects of any note, and the most interesting shots are those of the lead character on his bicycle and another character riding a motorbike around and around in a pit.

The acting is nothing noteworthy, because all involved were likely amateurs. And, again, the camerawork by cinematographer Ali Reza Zarin Dast is nothing special; even the occasional quick cuts look more the works of error than planning. But, in just this first film of Makhmalbaf's that I've seen, one can discern that he's likely to be a more daring filmmaker than his main filmic rival in Iran, Abbas Kiarostami. That leads me to my final comparison of this film, and that's with some of the earlier film work of German filmmaker Werner Herzog. The ends of films like Even Dwarfs Started Small and Stroszek are certainly an influence, if not directly, than certainly in some collectively unconscious way. Yes, Herzog's two films are, overall, more polished, but especially Even Dwarfs Started Small shares a zeitgeist with this film. It is as if the films take on lives apart from their directors' wishes.

The DVD, put out by Image Entertainment, is of solid video quality, although the audio leaves much to be desired, in places. It has no English language dubbing, and only white subtitles (against the color background), for only 85% or so of the dialogue.
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